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Space Songs


Published June 4, 2005


--Pretentious--
A cool late-spring day in San Diego. The homeless prophet sets out from his domicile with high hopes for the day, recalling the folk songs of another time and place. Passing by a house on Orange Avenue, the prophet hears the accustomed piano music, but sees under the canopy of vines this time a pallid, hazy man-child singing a new song. The marine clouds cast a soft, ghostly pallor over the neighborhoods redolent of detergent and ethnic cuisines. The prophet passes into a trance of prophecy as he passes by the Buddhist musicians in the park. When he awakes he is at the Tijuana River Estuary mutely and paralytically witnessing a ghostly murder victim buried by ghostly perpetrators. Shaken by this, he wanders up the coastline, finally swimming into a sea-cave where ancient hermit musicians perpetually try to summon the mourning doves from the city they can no longer visit. The prophet finally remembers where he saw the ghostly perpetrator before, returns to the house on Orange Avenue and finds an ethereal subpoena lying well-respected on the ground. The prophet sets up his new domicile beneath the vines and waits for eviction.

--Unpretentious--
This is, more or less, my solo output over the last 3 months. I used 2 1/2 octave bells, a cheesy "Piano Horn" melodica in the key of C, my voice, various hand percussion instruments, lots of reverb and Audacity. As the title indicates, it has kind of a spacey vibe.


Source James Banks
Run time 31:53

Notes

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.





Track listing and description:
1. Spilled Milk Road - drunken waltz in 10 bar phrases for bells, melodica and... more
2. Spaceship Lad - Ripping off Romantic era songs/lieder but without the piano skills to do it convincingly
3. Film Class - Ambient voice, bells, and zheng
4. Cardboard Box - Loungy improv for bells and melodica
5. Shore - Ripping off British folk songs with bells, melodica and voice
6. April is the Cruellest - soundscapy thing made entirely with Audacity effects and generators
7. Paloma - modal improv ambient reverb'd bells and melodica inspired by bird call
8. Treasure Hunt of Sighs - Rocking little song of justice, attorneys, soap, and cleansing for bells, voice, melodica and glass soda bottle.

Thanks to E. Banks for guitar work. Lyrics and chords for tracks 2, 5, and 8 can be found here. This is covered only by an Attribution CC license, so you are free to cover, sample, remix, or even sell (to whom?) these works as you wish as long as you give me credit. In the future I may release karaoke (no-vocals) editions of 2, 5, and 8 so that people with better recording equipment and voices can make intelligible versions and put them up here so I can figure out what I'm singing :)

Reviews

Reviewer: James Banks - - January 30, 2008
Subject: This is not a review
See below for Greg Fox's review if you want a review. This is just to say that if you want to contact me about Space Songs (for instance, tell me what you've done with it) you can reach me at foreclosers (AT) gmail (dot) com.
Reviewer: Greg Fox / La Voix Fidel - - April 13, 2006
Subject: An artist to follow very closely!!!!!!
This is an immensely diverse collection full of humour, pathos and innovation. We're living in very interesting times and the old certainties about 'popular' versus 'serious' music are long-since forgotten in light of work like this which straddles both (former) worlds with total authenticity and charm.
Technically this album's very adept with lots of intimate close-ups, warm 3-dimensional spaces and sudden shifts of perspective which bring a great deal of listenability.
Some really nice tonal and textural twists match the vocal humour with musical whimsy, making for some incredibly charming moments.
My personal favourite is probably "Treasure Hunt of Sighs", with its rhythmic invention, catchiness and infectious vocals.

Strongly recommended to everyone.
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